|Student project from
2002, a visual essay based on their reading of Laura
Esquvel's Like Water for Chocolate. Click
on the picture for larger view.
Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate
is a book I use to teach students how authors use historical
context with fiction to make a political statement.
Students are introduced to the literary writing style
of magical realism, metaphors and similes as they explore
the parallel between the government structure and the
family unit within the text. The author’s style
of magical realism combined with the themes of love, traditions,
rights of children, culture, revolution, racism and societal
influences motivate and inspire students to share their
own family experiences and explore the role of government
in today’s society.
I teach this unit by comparing families to governmental structures because
students are familiar with families and they bring prior
knowledge to the unit while they may resist or feel apprehensive
about studying governmental structure and function. By
focusing on families, I am able to indirectly show students
how government structures function in societies and how
important their family relationship is in their lives.
The activities for this unit are designed to help students with their learning
and developmental skills in reading and writing strategies
at the secondary level while exploring the issue of human
rights as it relates to families, the role of family members,
and governments in societies.
The students use technology to extend and support the curriculum by using
the internet to research information and Microsoft Word
to write the essays. Additional technological skills
learned include using computer graphics, clip art, and
formatting. Students learn to think critically, draw
inferences, use prior knowledge, use textual evidence
to support claims and effectively express their ideas
and claims in a group setting.